Colin de la Higuera

Who am I?

Some links to events I support

No comment

I may have changed a bit



Grammatical inference

Grammatical inference is about learning grammars given information about language

  • I have been giving lectures on grammatical inference in different places. I have put most of my slides here.
  • On Videolectures there are some films corresponding to these lectures: start here.
  • During 2013/2014, I have been teaching this topic in Nantes. The different resources for the lectures can be found here.

Research methodology

I have been teaching research methodology, ethical issues, strategies... for some time

  • Some material in French corresponding to these courses can be found here.
  • The French slides used in 2014 are here.
  • Here is a video in Spanish on the topic.
  • And some slides in English.


ATAL: Apprentissage et Traitement Automatique des Langues

  • In September 2012 we opened the Master Programme ATAL (Apprentissage et Traitement Automatique des Langues), on Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing. All information is here: ATAL.
  • Lectures are mostly in French. Applicants are welcome to contact me.


Grammatical inference

current work:

  • with Rémi Eyraud, Makoto Kanazawa and Ryo Yoshinaka, editors of a special issue of Fundamenta Informaticae
  • Hugo Mougard built the Grammatical Inference Software Repository
  • Some questions I am working on:
    • Semi-deterministic transducers offer strong modelling capacities: their learnability "has been proven, but the probabilistic setting is of interest now
    • Learning probabilistic context-free grammars: this was the object of James Scicluna's PhD
    • Finding the consensus string, the most probable translation, the median string for PFA, PCFGs, probabilistic transducers: there are a number of interweaved questions here...
    • Alignment is related with edit distance computation questions
    • Computing distances and not computing them, between distributions
    • Building new active learning algorithms


Machine Learning

current interests:


  • I gave a talk at WATA 2014.
  • I was member of the Guest Editorial Board for ECML-PKDD 2013, and of the PC of that conference.
  • I was member of the Programme Committee of CAP 2014.


  • I have tried to organise these here.
  • A book published in March 2010



What is the SIF?

The Société informatique de France (SIF) is the French Learned Society in Informatics (or Computer Science).:

What does the SIF do?

Some links to (recent) interviews and talks

  • 2/4/2014. A video about teaching code.
  • 8/7/2014. An article in
  • 21/7/2014. An interview in vousnousils.
  • 24/7/2014. An interview in
  • 28/9/2014. An article in
  • 12/11/2014. An interview in vousnousils.
  • 8/12/2014. An article in with Gilles Dowek.


What is K4A?

Knowledge 4 All Foundation Ltd (K4A) is a non-profit organization based in London (UK), formed as a successor to the PASCAL2 Network of Excellence, an FP7 research project and the main supporter of VideoLectures.Net. Among the over 60 members of the Foundation are some of the most important research and development centres in the field of artificial intelligence in Europe. The aim of the Foundation is to reduce the current gap between new trends in education, on the one hand, and advanced technologies in artificial intelligence, on the other, with the ultimate goal of securing the future of open education.

Some recent activities


  • I was a co-organiser of the recent Internet of Education conference held in Ljubljana, in November 2013.
  • I was chair of the OCWC Global Conference held in Ljubljana in April 2014. The theme was: Open Education for a Multicultural World.
  • I corun project COCo at University of Nantes.



Contact me Feel free to mail me.

Colin de la Higuera  Laboratoire LINA UMR CNRS 6241
UFR de Sciences et Techniques
2 rue de la Houssinière
BP 92208
44322 Nantes Cedex 03

Tel : (33) (0)2 51 12 58 33

(33) (0)2 51 12 58 97

Instructions to get to the lab by foot, car, plane or train are here